Fossil fuel subsidies are huge. It is something many of us now know, but which even more people don’t. Thus, it is something we come back to from time to time on here.
A new report out by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows that governments worldwide spend a ton more on fossil fuels than on renewable energy.
In total, governments around the world spent between $43 and $46 billion on renewable energy and biofuels in 2009. (That doesn’t include indirect support, such as subsidies to corn farmers for ethanol production.)
Sounds like a lot, right? I’m sure seeing that figure would get a lot of anti-government conservatives up in arms and saying, “See! Renewable energy couldn’t survive without government support.”
Sure, not pocket change, unless your talking to those in the fossil fuels industry. They received direct subsidies of $557 billion last year. Quite a bit more support, eh?
I don’t see the anti-government crowd joining the environmental and clean energy crowd and speaking up about this issue, though.
Whether or not renewable energy would out-compete fossil fuels in the energy market if all these subsidies were removed is worthy of plenty more debate, but the bottom line for me is this: isn’t it about time to pull the plug on the fossil fuel subsidies, given that we now conclusively know that we are baking the planet and the long-term costs of global warming far outweigh the short-term supposed costs of switching to renewable energy.
Obama certainly thinks so and is helping the world along. Hopefully we will see this happen sooner rather than too late.
Photo Credit: alles-schlumpf via flickr